Our philosophy of exercise involves FUN first and foremost. Our focus is on quality, not quantity. A person’s body must be functional and flexible before it is strengthened. There is no point running with poor form, lifting weights with unstable joints or strengthening unbalanced and inappropriate muscle patterns. Pain should never be a feature of exercise. If it is painful, it is not stable.
Here are a few examples of what exercise and fitness are not:
It is not about weight loss. Contrary to popular belief, exercise contributes VERY LITTLE to losing weight. Weight loss is 80% about what you eat. A fitness regime in isolation will not reduce or control your weight to any significant extent.
Exercise is not about being skinny. A person can be skinny, but completely unfit and unwell.
It is not about vanity. A person can look muscly and toned but have very little strength, function or cardiovascular fitness.
It is not about pushing you beyond your limits. If you are at your limit you are not far from injury.
What Exercise IS:
Exercise has to be fun. The only type of exercise you will stick to will be what you find enjoyable. Sometimes, exercise is not fun because we cannot do it well. If you have tried running for a good few weeks and have built up some fitness but you still don’t enjoy it – try finding something else!
Primarily, exercise is about movement. You have to move. Your muscles are designed to be used. A lack of movement can contribute to joint stiffness and inflammation, muscle tightness, inflammation, pain, fatigue, lethargy, and depression.
(Stability): Exercise should be functional. Sure, you might be able to bicep curl 30kg – but can you scratch your own back? One of the basic human functions is to squat (think of going to the toilet, gardening, lifting a box). If you cannot perform a squat this may be something to consider working on!
(Mobilise) As you begin to move more, you will notice an increase in flexibility. Flexibility involves increasing the range in which you can move. Flexibility can help reduce fatigue, allows a more fluid range of movement, improves your posture and increases your ability to perform – which makes exercise more fun!
Strength comes LAST! If a joint is unstable and you make the muscles around it strong they will overpower it and cause INJURY. If a joint is relatively immobile and you try to strengthen the muscles, you will sprain/strain the joint! Always focus on correct function first, flexibility second and STRENGTH LAST!
Cardiovascular exercise is often focused on. This is interesting because often it can be inefficient and ineffective in reaching your goals. Cardiovascular exercise is useful but not nearly as useful on its own. You can, for example, achieve a cardiovascular workout whilst doing Yoga, lifting weights, doing housework or swimming! Running, as an example will give you cardiovascular fitness – but only works on a few isolated muscles in the body.